Exercise Exorcised

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dystopia

Exercise Exorcised: The Sitters Rule

The cold, metal chain-links burned her hands. She pulled her weight up, first with her hands, and then she wedged her contraband tennis shoes into the holes. She weighed more than she realized. It had been a decade since exercise had been banned. Her right hand clasped the fence. Her left hand clasped the fence. Her left foot jammed into a hole, toes curled under in her shoes. Her right foot jammed into a hole, toes spread in her shoes.

She climbed. And climbed. The fence was more than twice her height. It grew taller with each step. With each step, each new grasp of the chain-link fence, her heart pounded, pounded hard. She knew she was alive. She knew she what was defending. She knew she was in big trouble.

She climbed. And climbed. She reached above her head with her right hand. She compensated with her left foot. She reached above her head with her left hand. She compensated with her right foot. She climbed and ignored the cold breeze freezing her fingers. She climbed and ignored the sweat soaking her body.

She climbed. And climbed. Finally over the top, she jumped to the ground. She fell to her fate. She sat, legs stretched forward. She clasped her hands around her feet in a solemn stretch.

Seven other runners dropped from the fence, one by one. The earth quaked beneath her body and echoed in her pounding heart. The sounds drowned her devotion. Her eyes sealed shut, glued with fear. Her hands gripped her feet: knuckles white, tips red.

image from mbtriclub.orgShe didn’t see the Officer come up behind her, but she felt his approaching presence and immediately hated him. She wanted to scream. She wanted to scream at the top of her lungs: get away from me you sitter! He grabbed her shoulders.

She wanted to run. She wanted to jump to her feet and run across the field to feel the freedom of the wind. She wanted to combust, to explode into a great fireball. And run. She wanted to run.

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4 thoughts on “Exercise Exorcised

    • Thanks! This was actually a portion of an old piece I wrote about six years ago. The original was not dystopian, but this part of it made me think of the challenge, and with a bit of work, I thought it kind-of worked.

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